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al-Mu`minun (The Believers)
as rendered by Muhammad Asad
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Muhammad Asad rendition of Surah The Believers(al-Mu`minun)
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23:1 TRULY, to a happy state shall attain the believers:
23:2 those who humble themselves in their prayer,
23:3 and who turn away from all that is frivolous,
23:4 and who are intent on inner purity;
23:5 and who are mindful of their chastity,
23:6 [not giving way to their desires] with any but their spouses - that is, those whom they rightfully possess [through wedlock]: for then, behold, they are free of all blame,
23:7 whereas such as seek to go beyond that [limit] are truly transgressors;
23:8 and who are faithful to their trusts and to their pledges,
23:9 and who guard their prayers [from all worldly intent].
23:10 It is they, they who shall be the inheritors
23:11 that will inherit the paradise; [and] therein shall they abide.
23:12 NOW, INDEED, We create man out of the essence of clay,
23:13 and then We cause him to remain as a drop of sperm in [the wombs] firm keeping,
23:14 and then We create out of the drop of sperm a germ-cell, and then We create out of the germ-cell an embryonic lump, and then We create within the embryonic lump bones, and then We clothe the bones with flesh - and then We bring [all] this into being as a new creation: hallowed, therefore, is God, the best of artisans!
23:15 And then, behold! after all this, you are destined to die;
23:16 and then, behold! you shall be raised from the dead on Resurrection Day.
23:17 And, indeed, We have created above you seven [celestial] orbits: and never are We unmindful of [any aspect of Our] creation.
23:18 And We send down water from the skies in accordance with a measure [set by Us], and then We cause it to lodge in the earth: but, behold, We are most certainly able to withdraw this [blessing]!
23:19 And by means of this [water] We bring forth for you gardens of date-palms and vines, wherein you have fruit abundant and whereof you eat,
23:20 as well as a tree that issues from [the lands adjoining] Mount Sinai, yielding oil and relish for all to eat.
23:21 And, behold, in the cattle [too] there is indeed a lesson for you: We give you to drink of that [milk] which is within their bellies; and you derive many [other] uses from them: for, you eat of their flesh,
23:22 and by them - as by the ships [over the sea] - you are borne [overland].
23:23 AND, INDEED, We sent forth Noah unto his people and he said: “O my people! Worship God alone]: you have no deity other than Him. Will you not, then, become conscious of Him?”
23:24 But the great ones among his people, who refused to acknowledge the truth, replied: “This [man] is nothing but a mortal like yourselves who wants to make himself superior to you! For, if God had willed [to convey a message unto us], He would surely have sent down angels; [moreover,] we have never heard [anything like] this from our forebears of old!
23:25 He is nothing but a madman: so bear with him for a while.”
23:26 Said [Noah]: “O my Sustainer! Succour me against their accusation of lying!”
23:27 Thereupon We inspired him thus: “Build, under Our eyes and according to Our inspiration, the ark [that shall save thee and those who follow thee]. And when Our judgment comes to pass, and waters gush forth in torrents over the face of the earth, place on board of this [ark] one pair of each [kind of animal] of either sex, as well as thy family - excepting those on whom sentence has already been passed; and do not appeal to Me [any more] in behalf of those who are bent on evildoing - for, behold, they are destined to be drowned!
23:28 “And as soon as thou and those who are with thee are settled in the ark, say: ‘All praise is due to God, who has saved us from those evildoing folk!’
23:29 “And say: ‘O my Sustainer! Cause me to reach a destination blessed [by Thee] for Thou art the best to show man how to reach his [true] destination!’”
23:30 In this [story], behold, there are messages indeed [for those who think]: for, verily, We always put [man] to a test.
23:31 AND AFTER those [people of old] We gave rise to new generations;
23:32 and [every time] We sent unto them an apostle from among themselves, [he told them:] “Worship God [alone]: you have no deity other than Him. Will you not, then, become conscious of Him?”
23:33 And [every time] the great ones among his people, who refused to acknowledge the truth and gave the lie to the announcement of a life to come - [simply] because We had granted them ease and plenty in [their] worldly life, and they had become corrupted by it [every time] they would say: “This [man] is nothing hut a mortal like yourselves, eating of what you eat, and drinking of what you drink:
23:34 and, indeed, if you pay heed to a mortal like yourselves, you will surely be the losers!
23:35 Does he promise you that, after you have died and become [mere] dust and bones, you shall be brought forth [to a new life]?
23:36 Far-fetched, far-fetched indeed is what you are promised!
23:37 There is no life beyond our life in this world: we die and we live [but once], and we shall never be raised from the dead!
23:38 He is nothing but a man who attributes his own lying inventions to God, and we are not going to believe him!”
23:39 [Whereupon the prophet] would say: “O my Sustainer! Succour me against their accusation of lying!”
23:40 [And God] would say: “After a little while they will surely be smitten with remorse!”
23:41 And then the blast [of Our punishment] overtook them, justly and unavoidably, and We caused them to become as the flotsam of dead leaves and the scum borne on the surface of a torrent: and so - away with those evildoing folk!
23:42 AND AFTER them We gave rise to new generations:
23:43 [for,] no community can ever forestall [the end of] its term - and neither can they delay [its coming].
23:44 And We sent forth Our apostles, one after another: [and] every time their apostle came to a community, they gave him the lie: and so We caused them to follow one another [into the grave], and let them become [mere] tales: and so - away with the folk who would not believe!
23:45 AND THEN We sent forth Moses and his brother Aaron with Our messages and a manifest authority [from Us]
23:46 unto Pharaoh and his great ones; but these behaved with arrogance, for they were people wont to glorify [only] themselves.
23:47 And so they said: “Shall we believe [them] two mortals like ourselves - although their people are our slaves?”
23:48 Thus, they gave the lie to those two, and earned (thereby) their place among the doomed:
23:49 for, indeed, We had vouchsafed revelation unto Moses in order that they might find the right way.
23:50 And [as We exalted Moses, so, too,] We made the son of Mary and his mother a symbol [of Our grace], and provided for both an abode in a lofty place of lasting restfulness and unsullied springs.
23:51 O YOU APOSTLES! Partake of the good things of life, and do righteous deeds: verily, I have full knowledge of all that you do.
23:52 And, verily, this community of yours is one single community, since I am the Sustainer of you all: remain, then, conscious of Me!
23:53 But they (who claim to follow you) have torn their unity wide asunder, piece by piece, each group delighting in [but] what they themselves possess [by way of tenets].
23:54 But leave them alone, lost in their ignorance, until a [future] time.
23:55 Do they think that by all the wealth and offspring with which We provide them
23:56 We [but want to] make them vie with one another in doing [what they consider] good works? Nay, but they do not perceive [their error]!
23:57 Verily, [only] they who stand in reverent awe of their Sustainer,
23:58 and who believe in their Sustainer’s messages,
23:59 and who do not ascribe divinity to aught but their Sustainer,
23:60 and who give whatever they [have to] give with their hearts trembling at the thought that unto their Sustainer they must return:
23:61 it is they who vie with one another in doing good works, and it is they who outrun [all others] in attaining to them!
23:62 And [withal.] We do not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear: for with Us is a record that speaks the truth [about what men do and can do]; and none shall be wronged.
23:63 NAY, [as for those who have torn asunder the unity of faith] - their hearts are lost in ignorance of all this! But apart from that [breach of unity] they have [on their conscience even worse] deeds; and they will [continue to] commit them
23:64 until - after We shall have taken to task, through suffering, those from among them who [now] are lost in the pursuit of pleasures - they cry out in [belated] supplication.
23:65 [But they will be told:] “Cry not in supplication today: for, behold, you shall not he succoured by Us!
23:66 Time and again were My messages conveyed unto you, but [every time] you would turn about on your heels
23:67 [and,] impelled by your arrogance, you would talk senselessly far into the night.”
23:68 Have they, then, never tried to understand this word [of God]? Or has there [now] come to them something that never came to their forefathers of old?
23:69 Or is it, perchance, that they have not recognized their Apostle, and so they disavow him?
23:70 Or do they say. “There is madness in him”? Nay, he has brought them the truth - and the truth do most of them detest!
23:71 But if the truth were in accord with their own likes and dislikes, the heavens and the earth would surely have fallen into ruin, and all that lives in them [would long ago have perished]! Nay, [in this divine writ] We have conveyed unto them all that they ought to bear in mind: and from this their reminder they [heedlessly] turn away!
23:72 Or dost thou [O Muhammad] ask of them any worldly recompense? But [they ought to know that] recompense from thy Sustainer is best, since He is the best of providers!
23:73 And, verily, thou callest them onto a straight way –
23:74 but, behold, those who will not believe in the life to come are bound to deviate from that way.
23:75 And even were We to show them mercy and remove whatever distress might befall them [in this life], they would still persist in their overweening arrogance, blindly stumbling to and fro.
23:76 And, indeed, We tested them through suffering, but they did not abase themselves before their Sustainer; and they will never humble themselves
23:77 until We open before them a gate of [truly] severe suffering [in the life to come]: and then, lo! they will be broken in spirit.
23:78 [O MEN! Pay heed to God’s messages,] for it is He who has endowed you with hearing, and sight, and minds: [yet] how seldom are you grateful!
23:79 And He it is who has caused you to multiply on earth; and unto Him you shall be gathered.
23:80 And He it is who grants life and deals death; and to Him is due the alternation of night and day. Will you not, then, use your reason?
23:81 But nay, they speak as the people of olden times did speak:
23:82 they say: “What! After we have died and become mere dust and bones, shall we, forsooth, be raised from the dead?
23:83 Indeed, this [very thing] we have been promised - we and our forefathers - long ago! This is nothing but fables of ancient times!”
23:84 Say: “Unto whom belongs the earth and all that lives there on? [Tell me this] if you happen to know [the answer]!”
23:85 [And they will reply: “Unto God.” Say: “Will you not, then, bethink yourselves [of Him]?”
23:86 Say: “Who is it that sustains the seven heavens and is enthroned in His awesome almightiness?”
23:87 [And] they will reply: “[All this power belongs] to God.” Say: “Will you not, then, remain conscious of Him?”
23:88 Say: “In whose hand rests the mighty dominion over all things, and who is it that protects, the while there is no protection against Him? [Tell me this] if you happen to know [the answer]!”
23:89 [And] they will reply: “[All this power belongs] to God.” Say: ‘How, then, can you be so deluded?”
23:90 Nay, We have conveyed unto them the truth: and yet, behold, they are intent on lying [to themselves]!
23:91 Never did God take unto Himself any offspring, nor has there ever been any deity side by side with Him: [for, had there been any,] lo! each deity would surely have stood apart [from the others] in whatever it had created, and they would surely have [tried to] overcome one another! Limitless in His glory is God, [far] above anything that men may devise by way of definition,
23:92 knowing all that is beyond the reach of a created being’s perception as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature’s senses or mind and, hence, sublimely exalted is He above anything to which they may ascribe a share in His divinity!
23:93 SAY: “O my Sustainer! If it be Thy will to let me witness [the fulfillment of] whatever they [who blaspheme against Thee] have been promised [to suffer] –
23:94 do not, O my Sustainer, let me be one of those evildoing folk!”
23:95 [Pray thus] for, behold, We are most certainly able to let thee witness [the fulfillment, even in this world, of] whatever We promise them!
23:96 [But whatever they may say or do,] repel the evil [which they commit] with something that is better: We are fully aware of what they attribute [to Us].
23:97 And say: “O my Sustainer! I seek refuge with Thee from the promptings of all evil impulses;
23:98 and I seek refuge with Thee, O my Sustainer, lest they come near unto me!’
23:99 [AS FOR THOSE who will not believe in the life to come, they go on lying to themselves] until, when death approaches any of them, he prays: “O my Sustainer! Let me return, let me return [to life],
23:100 so that I might act righteously in whatever I have failed [aforetime]!” Nay, it is indeed but a [meaningless] word that he utters: for behind those [who leave the world] there is a barrier [of death] until the Day when all will be raised from the dead!
23:101 Then, when the trumpet [of resurrection] is blown, no ties of kinship will on that Day prevail among them, and neither will they ask about one another.
23:102 And they whose weight [of righteousness] is heavy in the balance - it is they, they who will have attained to a happy state;
23:103 whereas they whose weight is light in the balance - it is they who will have squandered their own selves, [destined] to abide in hell:
23:104 the fire will scorch their faces, and they will abide therein with their lips distorted in pain.
23:105 [And God will say:] “Were not My messages conveyed unto you, and were you [not] wont to give them the lie?”
23:106 They will exclaim: “O our Sustainer! Our bad luck has overwhelmed us, and so we went astray!
23:107 O our Sustainer! Cause us to come out of this [suffering] - and then, if ever We revert [to sinning], may we truly be [deemed] evildoers!”
23:108 [But] He will say: “Away with you into this [ignominy]! And speak no more unto Me!
23:109 “Behold, there were among My servants such as would pray, ‘O our Sustainer! We have come to believe [in Thee]; forgive, then, our sins and bestow Thy mercy on us: for Thou art the truest bestower of mercy!’
23:110 - but you made them a target of your derision to the point where it made you forget all remembrance of Me; and you went on and on laughing at them.
23:111 [But,] behold, today I have rewarded them for their patience in adversity: verily, it is they, they who have achieved a triumph!”
23:112 [And] He will ask [the doomed]: “What number of years have you spent on earth?”
23:113 They will answer: ‘We have spent there a day, or part of a day; but ask those who [are able to] count [time] …”
23:114 [Whereupon] He will say: “You have spent there but a short while: had you but known [how short it was to be]!
23:115 Did you, then, think that We created you in mere idle play, and that you would not have to return to Us?”
23:116 [KNOW,] then, [that] God is sublimely exalted, the Ultimate Sovereign, the Ultimate Truth: there is no deity save Him, the Sustainer, in bountiful almightiness enthroned!
23:117 Hence, he who invokes, side by side with God, any other deity [- a deity] for whose existence he has no evidence - shall but find his reckoning with his Sustainer: [and,] verily, such deniers of the truth will never attain to a happy state!
23:118 Hence, [O believer,] say: “O my Sustainer! Grant [me] forgiveness and bestow Thy mercy [upon me]: for Thou art the truest bestower of mercy!”


   


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